Wydad Casablanca’s president called on the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to investigate the controversial end to Friday night’s African Champions League final, in a bid to “save the image of football in Africa”.
Esperance were awarded the title in Rades after Wydad refused to play on when VAR was unavailable to judge a disallowed equaliser.
VAR had been set up on the side of the pitch, but the players had not been told it was not working, although officials were aware.
“Wydad was the victim of a scandal on Friday which has destroyed all what had been done to develop football in Africa,” Said Naciri, the Wydad club president told BBC Sport.
“We are asking the Confederation of African Football to investigate what happened in Friday’s game. We are calling for a fair investigation to save the image of football in Africa which was terribly tarnished.”
Wydad players protested to the referee, insisting VAR be used
The referee refused to consult the VAR following Walid Karti’s goal for Wydad in the 59th minute, which was ruled out for offside.
Wydad’s players protested and refused to continue playing until the use of VAR. The disallowed goal meant Tunisia’s Esperance, who had taken the lead through Youcef Belaili, won the second leg 1-0, retaining their title 2-1 on aggregate.
“We didn’t leave the pitch. We were waiting for the referee’s decision to check the VAR or use any camera. I can’t understand why the referee was waiting for instructions from other people to take his decision” Naciri, Wydad’s president said.
“We will defend our right by all means. We will go to Fifa and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas), giving them all the details and legal documents to defend our right”, he added.
The players were reportedly not informed that the video assistant referee system (VAR) was not working.
Naciri claimed the issue is about more than a Champions League title, and is now “about the image of African football and Wydad and Morocco’s dignity.”
In a meeting on Saturday afternoon, Morocco’s Football Federation gave Wydad its support as the club seeks to defend its rights.
“We will support Wydad by addressing Fifa and Cas because we cannot accept awarding the Champions League title to Esperance under unfair conditions”, the president of Morocco’s football federation, Fawzi Lakjaa said.
In a statement, Caf confirmed it will hold a meeting of its executive committee on Tuesday following the second leg of the final.